When the male arrived back at the site he would show the stick to the female, who would take the opposite end in her bill. They would then jointly place the stick in position. The male would hang around for a while before leaving to find another stick for the nest. When he returned, they again jointly placed the new stick in position.
I was surprised that the herons remained at that nesting site. There was a steady progression of visitors — along with a number of photographers — walking on the observation deck less than 40 yards from the nest. As is frustratingly typical in nature areas, some of the visitors were involved in loud conversations that scared off wildlife. But the herons ignored all the distractions.
All photos and text © Copyright - Pat D. Hemlepp. All rights reserved.